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S. Korea, IAEA discuss N. Korea, proliferation issues

All Headlines 18:16 April 07, 2016

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the International Atomic Energy Agency held talks Thursday to coordinate their response to North Korea's nuclear threats and help improve nuclear safety, Seoul's Foreign Ministry said.

The two sides met for their fourth round of high-level consultations amid the growing threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons program and nuclear proliferation around the world, ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said in a regular press briefing.

The talks were led by Choi Jong-moon, South Korea's deputy foreign minister for multilateral and global affairs, and Tero Varjoranta, head of the IAEA's department of safeguards.

"South Korea has maintained and strengthened close ties with the IAEA as a model nation in the areas of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security," Cho said. "We especially plan to contribute to increasing the political momentum for nuclear security following the Nuclear Security Summit that ended with its fourth meeting on April 1."

The Nuclear Security Summit was a U.S.-led annual gathering of world leaders that drew to a close in Washington last week.

During Thursday's talks, South Korea and the IAEA exchanged views on ways to raise the effectiveness of the IAEA's safeguard measures and the upcoming IAEA ministerial meeting on nuclear security to be chaired by Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se in December.

"Safeguard issues and non-proliferation issues in the Korean peninsula are of utmost importance for our delegation and our work," Varjoranta said at the start of the talks. "Our cooperation has been excellent over the past years and the safeguard activities are improving in an excellent manner."

hague@yna.co.kr
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